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Alex Murdaugh Surrenders After Trying to Fake His Own Killing: Latest Updates

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The prominent South Carolina lawyer whose life has unraveled in the months since his wife and son were fatally shot was arrested on Thursday after he admitted to trying to stage his own murder earlier this month, but he maintained that he had no involvement in the killing of his family.

Alex Murdaugh, the lawyer, was charged with insurance fraud, conspiracy to commit insurance fraud and filing a false police report, all felonies, in connection with the suicide scheme, which his lawyers said was meant to ensure that his other son could collect on a $10 million life insurance policy.

In a Hampton County courtroom on Thursday, Mr. Murdaugh wore a jail jumpsuit and wept behind a face mask as Dick Harpootlian, one of his lawyers, described his “fall from grace” in the wake of the deaths of his wife and son.

“The only violence he’s ever been involved in is this, which was to have himself executed,” Mr. Harpootlian said in court, adding: “The only person he’s a danger to is himself.”

A judge released Mr. Murdaugh without requiring that he forfeit any money, but she did order him to surrender his passport and sign a waiver of extradition because he will be staying at a rehabilitation center in another state where he is seeking treatment for an oxycodone addiction.

Mr. Murdaugh was depressed by the loss of his family and struggling to stop abusing the painkillers when he devised the self-execution plan, his lawyers said. They said he had wrongly believed that his insurance policy would not pay out if his death was ruled a suicide.

The arrest of Mr. Murdaugh, 53, is the latest turn in a series of stunning developments in the rural South Carolina Lowcountry, where the Murdaugh family has built power over more than a century — first by leading a regional prosecutor’s office for eight decades over three generations, and more recently through its family law firm.

The killing, in June, of Mr. Murdaugh’s wife, Maggie, and their college student son, Paul, brought intense scrutiny to the Murdaughs and to three other deaths that took place in proximity to the family in recent years.

In 2015, a 19-year-old man, Stephen Smith, was found dead along a road 10 miles from the Murdaugh home, with his death ruled a probable hit and run. In 2018, a longtime housekeeper for the Murdaugh family, Gloria Satterfield, 57, died in what was initially described as an accidental fall, but an autopsy was never conducted. And, at the time he was killed, Paul Murdaugh was facing charges that he had drunkenly crashed a boat in 2019, killing 19-year-old Mallory Beach.

The deaths of Mr. Murdaugh’s wife and son spurred the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division to open new investigations into the deaths of Ms. Satterfield and Mr. Smith. The police have not accused the Murdaughs of wrongdoing in either case. Ms. Satterfield’s sons, who are in their 20s, said this week that they had never received any money from a $505,000 settlement with Mr. Murdaugh over their mother’s death, and that Mr. Murdaugh himself had introduced them to the lawyer who represented them in the case.

The state police agency is also investigating claims by the leaders of his family law firm that he had misused millions of dollars of client and firm money, which Mr. Murdaugh’s lawyers have not denied. Earlier this month, the leaders of the firm told Mr. Murdaugh that he had to resign.

The next day, Sept. 4, Mr. Murdaugh asked one of his former clients, Curtis E. Smith, 61, to kill him on the side of a rural road, the police said. Mr. Murdaugh was shot in the head but survived with minor injuries and was released from the hospital after two days. He told the police at the time that he had been shot by someone who had pulled up beside him as he was changing a tire, a story that he now admits was false.

Days after the shooting, Mr. Murdaugh issued a vague statement apologizing to his family and colleagues, and said he was going to get help for an oxycodone addiction.

His lawyers said he had bought most of the oxycodone he took from Mr. Smith, whose bond a judge set at $55,000 on Thursday morning, and who muttered in court about the case being “crap.” Mr. Smith did not have a lawyer with him and said he was going to look into getting a public defender; later on Thursday, he was released after posting bond.

Chief Mark Keel of the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division said in a statement that agents would keep working to bring justice to anyone involved in the various investigations that the killings of Mr. Murdaugh’s family members have spurred.

“The arrests in this case are only the first step in that process,” he said.

The South Carolina attorney general is prosecuting cases that come out of the Murdaugh investigation after the chief prosecutor in the region recused himself because he had worked closely with Mr. Murdaugh’s father, who served as the previous chief prosecutor until 2006.


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Fayetteville City Council District 5

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Johnny Dawkins is the District 1 incumbent. The challenger is Fred G. LaChance. Dawkins is a benefits technology consultant. He previously served on the City Council in 2003. He has also been a member of the Fayetteville Chamber of Commerce, Pope Special Activities Committee, and chairman of the North Carolina Department of Insurance health insurance agents advisory board, according to the city website.

LaChance is the owner of Dixie Antiques on Bragg Boulevard. He has said in candidates’ forums he believes Police Chief Gina Hawkins must be replaced to improve morale in the Police Department. He’s a Navy veteran who also believes in reducing wasteful spending, instituting town halls, and cutting taxes. 

Here are their answers to a candidate questionnaire from The Fayetteville Observer. Some Voter Guide profiles ran before the primary in May. They have been edited for style and grammar.

Community, crime, and corruption:Fayetteville candidates face off in first forum

Council member Johnny Dawkins at a Fayetteville City Council meeting on Monday, April 25, 2022.

Johnny Dawkins

Age: 63

Immediate family: Donna, spouse; two grown children.

Occupation: Health insurance benefits consultant 

Elected office held: Fayetteville City Council, three terms.

How can the city address the increased number of murders? Is the Police Department doing all it can, in your opinion?

FPD must put more resources into investigating gangs, who are moving/selling drugs in our communities.


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Justice Department Approves Remission of Over $32 Million in Forfeited Funds to Victims in the FIFA Corruption Case | OPA

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The Department of Justice announced today that it will begin the process of remitting forfeited funds to FIFA, the world organizing body of soccer; CONCACAF, the confederation responsible for soccer governance in North and Central America, among other regions; CONMEBOL, the confederation responsible for soccer governance in South America; and various constituent national soccer federations (collectively, the “Victims”). The department granted a joint petition for remission filed by the Victims, recognizing losses and granting remission up to a total of more than $201 million, of which $32.3 million in forfeited funds has been approved for an initial distribution. In total, well over the amount granted has been seized and has been or is expected to be forfeited to the United States in the Eastern District of New York as part of the government’s long-running investigation and prosecution of corruption in international soccer. 

To date, the prosecutions have resulted in charges against more than 50 individual and corporate defendants from more than 20 countries, primarily in connection with the offer and receipt of bribes and kickbacks paid by sports marketing companies to soccer officials in exchange for the media and marketing rights to various soccer tournaments and events.

This announcement is the beginning of the process for returning funds to the victims of the FIFA bribery scandal and marks the department’s continued commitment to ensuring justice for those victims harmed by this scheme.

“The approval of this remission of funds illegally obtained in the FIFA scandal marks another important milestone in these prosecutions and the department’s commitment to use all tools at its disposal to prosecute corruption and to deprive perpetrators of ill-gotten gains,” said Assistant Attorney General Kenneth A. Polite Jr. of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division. “This remission highlights the importance of asset forfeiture as a critical tool for the recovery of criminal proceeds and the pursuit of justice.”

“Today’s announcement confirms that money stolen by corrupt soccer officials and sports marketing executives through fraud and greed will be returned to where it belongs and used to benefit the sport,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Jacquelyn M. Kasulis for the Eastern District of New York. “From the start, this investigation and prosecution have been focused on bringing wrongdoers to justice and restoring ill-gotten gains to those who work for the benefit of the beautiful game. Our office, together with our law enforcement partners, will always work to compensate victims of crime.”

“Kickbacks and bribes have a way of spreading like a disease through corrupt groups; pure and simple greed keeps the graft going,” said Assistant Director-in-Charge Michael J. Driscoll of the FBI’s New York Field Office. “Not one official in this investigation seemed to care about the damage being done to a sport that millions around the world revere. The only silver lining is the money will now help underprivileged people who need it, not the wealthy executives who just wanted it to get richer. Our work isn’t finished, and our promise to those who love the game – we won’t give up until everyone sees justice for what they’ve done.”

“For years, corrupt soccer officials and greedy sports marketing executives engaged in dozens of multimillion-dollar bribe and kickback schemes,” said Special Agent-in-Charge Ryan L. Korner of the IRS-Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI). “These individuals and companies lined their pockets with millions that were supposed to be used for the development and betterment of soccer worldwide. Agents with IRS-CI and their partners at the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the FBI relentlessly pursued this corruption and seized these ill-gotten gains. Now these funds can be used as they were intended, to promote and develop the world’s most popular game.”

On May 27, 2015, an indictment was unsealed charging 14 FIFA officials and sports marketing executives with racketeering, honest services wire fraud and money laundering offenses, among others. On Dec. 3, 2015, a superseding indictment was unsealed charging an additional 16 FIFA officials with similar crimes. Additional defendants were charged by indictment and information.  During the course of the prosecutions to date, 27 individual defendants have pleaded guilty for their roles in the charged crimes. In December 2017, two former FIFA officials, Juan Ángel Napout, of Paraguay, and José Maria Marin, of Brazil, were convicted after trial of racketeering conspiracy and related offenses. Four corporate entities have pleaded guilty and others, including banking institutions, have acknowledged their roles in criminal conduct through deferred prosecution or non-prosecution agreements. The government’s prosecutions and investigation are ongoing.

As part of these proceedings, many of the defendants were ordered to forfeit assets obtained through their criminal activity. Under federal law, the Department of Justice has the authority to distribute the proceeds of forfeited assets through the remission process to victims of crimes, including to the soccer organizations that employed and were defrauded by the corrupt soccer executives.

FIFA, CONCACAF, and CONMEBOL have committed to distributing funds received through the remission process to and through a newly created World Football Remission Fund (the “Fund”), to be established under the FIFA Foundation, an independent foundation focused on youth programs, community outreach and humanitarian needs. The terms of the Fund provide for oversight and independent audit measures to ensure remitted funds are distributed appropriately.   

The government’s case is being handled by the U.S. Attorney’s Office’s FIFA Task Force. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Samuel P. Nitze, M. Kristin Mace, Keith D. Edelman, Brian D. Morris and Kaitlin T. Farrell are in charge of the prosecution and coordination of the victim remission process. The Justice Department, through the Asset Forfeiture Program, works diligently to restore lost funds to victims of crime. The victim compensation payments in the FIFA case would not have been possible without the extraordinary efforts of the Criminal Division’s Money Laundering and Asset Recovery Section, the FBI’s New York Field Office and IRS-CI.


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Five-story fall victim ‘Jane Doe 1’ discusses alleged serial rapist ‘Voe,’ new lawsuit against police | WJHL

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Editor’s Note: News Channel 11 is currently not using the real name of the man known as “Robert Voe” in a federal lawsuit filed against Johnson City Police Chief Karl Turner and others pending availability of official records that would make it legally appropriate to name him.

JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (WJHL) — Her name is Mikayla Evans, she’s called “Jane Doe 1” in a lawsuit against Johnson City’s police chief, and she believes there was a purpose when her life was spared in a five-story fall from a downtown Johnson City condominium window.

“I definitely shouldn’t have lived and … I definitely shouldn’t be walking at all, period should not be walking and if nothing else I was brought back to take this monster down, to help people,” Evans told News Channel 11 Thursday.

By “this monster,” Evans was referring to the called “Robert Voe” in the lawsuit filed June 23 in U.S. District Court in Greeneville. It was “Voe’s” fifth-story condominium window Evans fell, or in her view may have been pushed from early the morning of Sept. 19, 2020.

Mikayla Evans in Kingsport, Tenn., nearly two years after she fell five stories from a Johnson City, Tenn. apartment window. (WJHL photo)

And it is “Voe” who, according to former federal attorney Kat Dahl’s lawsuit, Johnson City police either incompetently or corruptly failed to investigate allegations of crimes ranging from multiple rapes to drug dealing.

Evans, who turned 34 Wednesday, said she believes the allegations in Dahl’s lawsuit that “Voe” likely drugged multiple women he met in downtown Johnson City and raped them in his condominium. She thinks she was not sexually assaulted in his condo that night, but said she’s convinced that was what she’d been brought there for.

“I can tell you right now I was not sexually assaulted or raped,” Evans said, adding that she received results of a rape kit test that was conducted.

What she’s not sure of, and suspects, is that she was drugged.

“Some tests was not performed, which some things (that happened) it probably wouldn’t have mattered,” Evans said. But I have called myself to talk to them and ask if I was tested for GHB, roofies (rohypnol), ketamine, something like that, and they said no, that that was not requested to do.” All three drugs are among the most commonly used “date rape” drugs.

Dahl’s lawsuit claims Dahl fruitlessly pressed for Johnson City Police Department (JCPD) leaders to investigate more than a half-dozen women’s very similar claims that “Voe” had drugged and assaulted them. Evans hopes its filing and media coverage will at least lead to “Voe’s” apprehension and arrest on the one federal charge he does allegedly face — a felon in possession of ammunition, which carries a sentence of two to three years.

“I’ve tried for two years to get people to listen to me, for somebody to help me, and I didn’t have the proof is what I kept getting told,” Evans said. “He’s definitely a monster that I wish I had never, ever met in my entire life.”

Even as she came to consciousness after days of being kept sedated at Johnson City Medical Center, Evans said she was being contacted by people who spoke about “Voe’s” penchant for picking up women and drugging and assaulting them.

“I was having people message me themselves,” Evans said. “Not necessarily other women that had been a victim but just people in general, ‘hey look, he’s raped women, this is what’s said, allegedly.’”

Dahl’s lawsuit mentions the likelihood of “dozens” of victims. Evans, who’s never met Dahl, doesn’t dispute the estimate, or the lawsuit’s contention that “Voe’s” actions and modus operandi were well known in certain circles.

“This is like crowds and crowds, like 30, 40 people (who contacted her). All these people knew and nobody got nothing done, or could. Not that they didn’t want to. Some people tried and they just couldn’t get the help from either law enforcement or lawyers or whatever.”

Being with a stranger alone I would have never went by myself’

Evans said she remembers a great deal of the night she wound up nearly dead on a sidewalk on Spring Street. She said she spent time with friends at a north Johnson City bar, drinking a few beers.

The group then went to Wonderland downtown. She said a male friend accompanied her to “Voe’s” garage on Buffalo Street, where she swung on one of the swings he had hanging from the ceiling.

“I don’t remember leaving the garage, walking down the street, going up the elevator going into his apartment or out the window,” Evans said.

Evans survived a five-story plunge from this downtown Johnson City building early the morning of Sept. 19, 2020. (WJHL photo)

Video obtained by News Channel 11 appears to show Evans, “Voe” and a male friend (at the time) of Evans’s getting off an elevator in the condo building. She believes it is just before they entered the condo, and said she would not have gone there otherwise.

“Because he went with me, I wasn’t I guess as scared,” Evans said. “Because what woman is supposed to be scared when they have a male friend that’s with them versus being with a stranger alone I never would have went by myself.”

Evans said her girlfriends were waiting for her and that she even had one friend’s keys and another’s driver’s license. She also said the blood alcohol test performed later, which showed her at 0.072% — less than the legal limit — matches with her memory of drinking three or four beers and one liquor drink over a period of several hours.

“I don’t go out to get wasted,” she said, adding that she doesn’t remember feeling at all drunk that night. She added that she’s afraid of heights and can’t imagine herself getting close enough to a fifth-story window to accidentally fall.

Evans said she has come to believe she was pushed, but also said she realizes she may never know.

“Ever since I was in the hospital I never thought this was an accident. I know I was not intoxicated and I know I was not on drugs or anything like that to fall out of a window. I’m absolutely terrified of heights. I wouldn’t have been near the window let alone sitting in it.”

What she does know is that her life has never been the same since she landed feet first on the sidewalk.

‘They asked her if they can amputate both my feet’

For many months after Sept. 19, 2020, Evans was focused on recovering. She spent weeks in the hospital and many more in rehab, not walking on her own for months.

She said many doctors and nurses played a major role in her recovery. She still uses a cane, and her right hand has undergone surgeries and begun to “freeze up” again recently.

Considering what the early prognosis was, though, she’s grateful and considers her current physical state a miracle. During the three weeks she spent under sedation, Evans’s mother was right by her side, she said.

“They asked her if they could amputate both of my feet and my right arm because they couldn’t get blood flow… I landed on my feet is why they wanted to take (my feet) . I had burst fractures in my arm and my feet, and other places too, which explode like fireworks.”

Evans said she is thankful for her mother’s response.

“The only way that she told them that they could amputate was if it was life or death. Other than that, wait until I woke up and ask me themselves.”

Multiple surgeries and much rehab later, Evans took her first faltering steps.

“The therapist, my mother and one of her friends, I’d been telling them for like two months, ‘they’re going to tell me I can walk,’” she said.

Her mother tried to temper her optimism, afraid of the disappointment not being able to walk might bring, Evans remembered. But she persisted in her determination, and with her muscle mass extremely withered, she tried with a walker and succeeded.

“It was very, very uncomfortable. We all cried. I even cried. And then I had to sit back down and we worked on it a few times, and we did that for weeks.

“Every time somebody told me ‘no,’ I said ‘you watch me. Watch me now.’”

Physical pain wasn’t the only thing Evans was dealing with. She said she’s met with a therapist and had some real psychological struggles despite not having been raped and having to remember that experience.

“I was not sexually assaulted or raped, but mentally I’ve went to my very bottom point, to where I didn’t feel I wanted to come back up,” Evans said. “And I set and told myself, ‘you don’t give up, you’re not a quitter. You got to get this out and let people know even if you have to tell it yourself and get the whole world to start following you on different social media.”

‘I technically broke the camel’s back’

When she began feeling stronger, though, Evans said she began researching the other allegations on her own. She took it on herself to be public about her story, her opinions about “Voe,” and even about his real name.

“I technically broke the camel’s back,” she said. “Obviously I fell, and I shouldn’t have lived, and that was not what they were expecting.”

She said she believes the Dahl suit’s allegations against the JCPD — it claims the department was either incompetent or corrupt in its handling of all aspects of “Voe’s” case — are accurate based on her own experience. She doesn’t necessarily think the detective investigating her case, which according to police reports ultimately “revealed no criminal activity,” was corrupt or incompetent.

But Evans said she thinks the overall handling of “Voe’s” activities, whether they be alleged drug dealing, sexual assaults or anything else, was a mix of “about 80% corruption.”

Pointing to the multiple women whom the Dahl case says came forward to police with allegations “Voe” had assaulted them, Evans said she is willing to speak out, even though she finds it scary in some ways.

“I understand why the women’s names are protected (in the lawsuit),” Evans said. “Most women don’t want to come forward until they know something is legit set in stone, and a lot of these girls, they just want to forget what he done. They don’t want to keep dredging it up.”

Evans has become quite familiar with a couple of other women’s experiences and allegations and that they’ve driven her to want a justice meted out to “Voe” that she thinks he deserves.

“I’ve been asking for help for two years because I feel like he’s going to run even further, he’s going to run to (other countries),” she said. “Nobody wanted to help me, nobody wanted to listen, and everything I’ve been saying is true.”

With “Voe” allegedly now wanted (under a sealed warrant) for a felony, Evans said she hopes his name becomes public soon and his picture is plastered all over the internet.

“I want people to see what he looks like, and help put him away.”

Evans said she also wants any of “Voe’s” victims who learn about her to know she’s there for them, would like to hear from them if they’re willing to talk.

“If they don’t feel comfortable telling the news or going on record wherever it may be, police, lawyers — even Kat’s lawyer, you’re welcome to message me on Facebook, TikTok, Instagram, I don’t care what it is.

“If you feel like you need to tell a story I’ll help tell it for you if you can’t speak or don’t want to.”

Evans said she also believes it’s time for some authority figures to quit dismissing women’s allegations for what she said are illegitimate reasons.

Evans said after reading one officer’s alleged comments about her attire in Dahl’s lawsuit, she wondered whether she “was like a half-priority even though I fell five stories out the window because of the way I was dressed.

“”Well she looks like, well, you know, I’m not gonna say it,’” she said, referring to the alleged comment.

“I don’t care if I went outside with Bandaids covering my lady parts and I’m doing cartwheels. That don’t give you the right to touch me, drug me, rape me, anything like that.”


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